By Ndileka Swakamisa
Albany Bakeries on Wednesday launched a R350-million investment into a new bakery in Bellville in the Western Cape, which includes the building of a brand-new plant and an upgrade of interiors of the existing plant.
The new building occupies 6,884 square metres, compared with 3,766 square metres in the old bakery. The bakery operates 24 hours, seven days a week, and trucks leave the yard from 3am to 6am each day.
Albany managing director Matshela Seshibe said the two Tweedy high-speed dough mixers, backed by British technology would add to the output capacity, from 6,000 litres per hour to 12,000 litres per hour, effectively doubling the bakery’s outputs.
There are also new bread coolers and ovens that are more energy efficient and perfect the baking process.
“Our revamped high-tech bagging system is another aspect that adds to the overall efficiency,” Seshibe said.
“For the upgrade, we took the environment into account and have increased our emissions efficiency by reducing the factory’s energy consumption and also placed emphasis on improving safety measures.”
Albany Bakeries Bellville currently supplies 5,000 outlets, mainly in the Cape Metro area, which would be doubled over the next five years in a bid to contribute to small enterprises locally.
As a result of increased capacity, Albany is now planning to increase the number of outlets to reach previously unserved parts of the Western Cape. These range from large supermarket chains to independent retailers and spaza shops.